On 4th March,2020, the Alumni Relations Committee of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow organized its Alumni Talk Series II, under the guidance of Prof. Manisha Seth - Chairperson - Alumni Relation, coordinated by Mr. Nitin Mohan - Assistant Manager - Alumni Relation Committee, and Mr. Samarth Sanal, Coordinator, Alumni Relations Committee. The eminent speaker of the session was Ms. Indu Ahluwalia of PGDBA Batch 1995-1997 of Jaipuria, Lucknow, currently positioned as the Human Resource Officer of World Health Organization (WHO) in Yemen.
The session began with a welcome note delivered by Ms. Nondini Banerjee and Ms. Prachi Sharma, introducing the guest to the audience and throwing light upon her achievements. A green certificate was then presented to the guest by Prof. Manisha Seth.
Ms. Indu took over the session and began by sharing her story- she not only thanked the institute for calling her as a speaker but also for being one of the key reasons for her success. ‘A naughty back bencher’- that was what she’d call herself and that she believes it was the place from where her journey started.
Narrating her journey so far, she mentioned about her struggles back in 1997, when there was slowdown and how getting a job was difficult but she somehow managed getting a job which payed her not more than 3500 in the field of HR.
She mentioned there is no shortcut to success and it takes a lot of hard work and in order to rise up you need to have passion in you. She further talked about her journey in Convergys Information Management Group as the single person head for setting up the office in Hyderabad.
After having enough of the corporate exposure in India she wanted to move international and thus started as a country HR head in Plan international with a dip of 60% salary. She not only began with the India fraction of Plan International in 2005 but also wrote the Global child protection policy, revamped the HR policies for a number of their campaign and travelled across to look for its implementation.
Gaining enough of the international experience, she flew back to India and started HR network in India with a group of 5 top notch UN officials.
After handling the last case of polio in India she resigned and shifted to the private sector and thus joined Reliance foundation as a vice president- Head HR but soon she realized that the job did not excite her. She believes that a person should do what they love and if they don’t enjoy the job then they should better leave it. So this made her leave the job at Reliance and came back to the public sector wherein she worked as a Head HR for organizations like Indian Institute of Public Health.
She stated how after working for some time she got a call from her ex-boss from Geneva asking her to fix HR for Global Programme, from wherein she started working with the WHO, coordinating with member states during emergencies in disease like measles outbreak, polio outbreak and many such issue, getting people from developing countries and coordinating with them for their help. She feels privileged to have travelled quite a bit and worked closely for so many government organizations.
Ms. Indu concluded by telling how much she loves her profession as a HR and the capabilities with which she has fixed the major problems and faced challenges like living in a war zone place like Yemen and following the strict norms. She emphasized that there no defined time for taking a course or a qualification and mentioned about the various degrees that she has successfully acquired such as the second master’s degree in International Business Law from U.K., six sigma black belt, a course from Amsterdam in Human Resource for Health.
This was then followed by a round of questions from various students. A few questions from the audience included - Why WHO? How to build HR Competencies, and how the roles of private sector and public sector HR different? Comments on digital presence and empirical experience. How to resolve conflicts with people at the same level?
She answered each question in very precise yet informative manner and also stated about the various precautions and challenges that one need to undertake when you are associated with such an organization, like you need to think before saying anything out, cannot raise your tone, understand about the diversity and culture issues, be conscious and aware about anything you speak or write about the UN sector since you are its representative. She also threw some light upon the conflict management techniques that people can undertake which can help them in understanding the team and arriving at a conclusion which will have mutual benefits for the parties involved. Talking about the requisites in private sector, she believes that it is 30% technical skill and 70% attitude skill and one should know how to pitch and brand oneself.
As in her case she is a woman who possess the required skills of fixing issues in all the areas. She believes, it is how a person brand himself plays an important role in his career and since she has branded herself in a manner of a problem solver therefore have been able to reach at this height.
The session ended with a memento been presented to the guest by Mr. Akash Deep Saxena (Batch 1995-1997) – President – Lucknow Alumni Chapter and Mr. Jasmohan Singh, followed by a vote of thanks by Mr. Akash DeepSaxena to the eminent guest for enlightening the students with her experience.